Those who drive for a living get held to a higher standard than the average person out on the South Carolina roads. There are more educational requirements to obtain a commercial driver’s license (CDL) than a standard driver’s license. Everything from the traffic laws that apply to insurance requirements can be different for someone with a commercial license.
Drunk driving laws are particularly strict when it comes to those in control of commercial vehicles. After all, alcohol impairment can drastically affect someone’s ability to drive, and commercial vehicles are capable of causing catastrophic injuries and property damage. Impaired drivers in control of commercial vehicles could cause severe wrecks that injure or kill others.
The state has several rules that only apply to commercial drivers. Under South Carolina law, there are three ways that impaired driving rules are much stricter for those with a CDL.
You don’t have the right to decline workplace testing
If your employer performs random or routine drug tests of the people at the company, you must submit to a test when they demand. If you do not, your employer must notify the state of South Carolina about your refusal. Your CDL could be at risk just because you don’t want to take a test at an inconvenient time.
You are subject to a lower blood alcohol limit
The state has established a per se blood alcohol concentration limit. Even if there is no evidence of the alcohol affecting someone’s driving, a test that shows they are over the limit is enough evidence to prosecute them.
The average driver can only get behind the wheel if their BAC is over 0.08%. However, those in control of a commercial vehicle could get arrested with a BAC of just 0.04%.
What you do off the clock might affect your job
You aren’t just at risk of losing your commercial license for a drunk-driving accusation while in control of a motor vehicle. Traffic infractions could also leave you ineligible for a commercial license. Pleading guilty to a pending charge effectively forces you to leave your job because you are no longer eligible to drive.
Mounting a robust defense when facing drunk driving charges may be the only way for you to protect your CDL.